Frankie Dettori is aiming to extend his excellent run of form in 2019 as he heads to Santa Anita for the two-day Breeders’ Cup meeting.
Dettori is no stranger to success at the fixture, with 14 wins already under his belt, and he arrives on the crest of a wave having notched a remarkable 19 Group One wins this year.
The Italian opens his Breeders’ Cup weekend aboard the Simon Crisford-trained A’Ali in the Juvenile Turf Sprint on Friday – admits the colt could be up against it from a high draw.
He said: “I’ve been to Santa Anita many times, it’s a tight track where in an ideal world I’d choose the rail every time.
“But on A’Ali we are in the 10 gate, and I’ll have to pray that we don’t lose too much ground, as there is a possibility of having to go five wide and you can’t win doing that.
“I can’t control the draw, it’s in the lap of the gods and I’ll ride it as it comes. I’ll take my chances and hope it comes off.
“I’ve really liked this horse from day one, on occasions he’s tended to go left, but that shouldn’t be a problem – he’s a small, neat colt.
“On ability he’s definitely good enough.”
Dettori has five rides at the California track – all live on Sky Sports Racing – and teams up with Fanny Logan for John Gosden in Saturday’s Filly & Mare Turf.
She has won her last four starts, graduating from Listed wins to claiming a Group Three last time out, and Dettori is well aware of the task she faces as he reflected on his stellar campaign.
He added: “Fanny Logan has done nothing but improve since we put a hood on her. She’s an outsider, but deserves to take her chance. Who knows what will happen, as she’s on the up and up and the stable has been in top form all year.
“Unquestionably 2019 has been my best ever year. I knew I had a lot to look forward to, with Enable and Stradivarius, but that’s been backed up with the likes of Coronet, Star Catcher, Crystal Ocean and Advertise.
“So much is down to John, who manged to keep his team in top form all year. I’ve managed to win some Classics in England and one in Ireland, plus a King George and Eclipse.
“You get attached to these horses and it’s great that owners are keeping them in training, giving me so much to look forward to with Enable and Stradivarius next year.”
Gosden was fulsome in his praise of Dettori as the man for the big day – and also a role model for the up-and-coming talent in the riding ranks.
He said: “Frankie is very fulfilled in himself. Everything went so fast for him when he was young, it’s been a wonderful career that is still very much ongoing.
“It went into a little of the twilight zone, but he’s now not a man you’ll find on a wet afternoon at Brighton, as he’s able to pick his rides and he really is a man for the big occasion.
“He’s very accurate in his judgement, he’s brilliant in the mornings and when he talks to me about a certain horse I find a lot of advice invaluable.
“His determination to keep himself at the top of his profession is a great advertisement and a role model for the jockeys like Cieren Fallon, David Egan and Jason Watson, who are the most promising riders coming through.”